Do me a favor,
Ignore the gas prices and hit the great American road.
There's no freedom in America more beautiful than skiing and driving anywhere you want in the USA. America is one giant, massive, naturally beautiful country and every road leads to a different landscape. A change of scene. On the open road, I can go any where and do anything.
I like to drive and make everywhere my destination.
As a Hollywood Location Scout born driving in Los Angeles, here's my list of the Best Road Trips in the West created to share their natural beauty, unique features and unique experiences.
Best Drives in the West:
Anywhere from Long Beach to San Francisco is gorgeous. Big Sur being one of the greatest.
Angeles Crest Highway
Any time you need a quick trip out of LA, hit the 2 highway. This long road into the mountains will take you through Los Angeles forests in the hidden mountain towns of the city.
The rocks just look different up here.
Everything looks and feels different from above. We had no qualms pulling off the side of the road and getting a little dirty.
It was in Big Sur that I saw foam whip off the sea and form into clouds.
This part of the coast is so magical and enchanting. If you happen to drive past this part when it's open, visit Hermitage monastery. Here you'll find expansive views of the coast and beautiful benches in the clouds to expand the heart, mind and soul.
Zion - Bryce Canyon
This drive is my favorite! It's so near and dear to my heart that I gave it it's own article.
Los Angeles to British Columbia
LA - San Fran
Plan 3-4 days or a week to see it all.
Visit beach towns and Big Sur along the way.
With breathtaking ocean views and the redwood forest, this 7hr one-way trip presents heaven. Where else could you see a waterfall cascading into the ocean beneath a bed of redwoods? Big Sur is heaven everywhere you look.
LA - British Columbia
Cities: LA - Portland - Seattle - BC
This beautiful drive takes you along the Pacific Ocean through the thick forest land of British Columbia. We made this trip when I was 7 months pregnant and it was a very special experience. We drove the I-5 up and stopped in Shasta and Eugene, OR. We drove 14 hrs the first night and stopped in Oregon. We stayed in a tiny house cabin airbnb that my husband adoringly nicknamed "the lesbian birdhouse" for $78.
The next day, we met with my parents in Vancouver, Washington. Split on the River of Portland, we drove in the city, shopped at a dispensary, drove and saw all the waterfalls, fish ladders, and dams. We bought fresh apples and berries from the roadside markets. The next day, we drove into Seattle. It was Mitchell's first time there and we saw a lot just driving through the streets. We parked near the pier and ate at Elliot's.
We decided to take the drive all the way into British Columbia that night. We booked a stay at Lonsdale Quay in North Vancouver. It's across the water from all the action, but nice and affordable costing almost $100/night. The next day, I negotiated trade work with the Nelson House bed and breakfast and stayed in the charming West End district near the water and art.
That night, we drove around the city, into the Gaslamp District and feel in love with the cafes, street performers, and cobblestone roads. It was quite shocking to see the vast contrast of homeless on Hastings Rd. just a block east, but we're all brothers and sisters and we all need each other.
All in all, we stayed in British Columbia for 2 days. Had the budget permitted, I would have stayed a 4 days to a week, but work calls.
Los Angeles - Zion
Cities: LA - Barstow - Baker - Vegas - St. George - Hurricane - Zion
Living in Los Angeles and operating a business in Utah, I drive this road more than a trucker. I've developed a love of the great American West. Especially, Utah. The vast views and color-changing landscapes tell a story of dinosaurs, volcanoes, and the ancient Anasazi people.
On the way to Zion, you'll see a bright white building against red cliffs and a manmade D in the mountain. This is the historic pioneer town of St. George, Utah. Here, that bright white building is the oldest operating LDS Temple in the world. With its rich pioneer history, beautiful landscape and focus on family, St. George has become one of the fastest growing cities in America.
Now, there are great places to eat, gas up (Maverick) and adventure. One quick and awesome place is Pioneer Park. Here you'll find the Desert Hills Botanical Garden, Pioneer Park narrows and views of the city in a landscape that compares to Red Cliffs National Preserve.
Back on the Interstate, take exit 16 and stay where I stay in the town of Hurricane. It's on the way to Zion and home to 2 crisp fresh water reservoirs: Sand Hollow & Quail Creek. Perfect for mountain biking, camping, canoeing, cliff diving, and swimming
It's a beautiful place to contemplate life.
Drive through Hurricane, and see the brown sign on Main St.
Turn right and see to The Wave, Horseshoe Bend, Lake Powell and the Grand Canyon. Turn left, drive over the La Verkin suspension bridge, dine at River Roasting Co and drive up State Route 9 to Springdale, Utah, and into Zion.
You can eat, lodge, camp, horseback ride and go on incredible hiking adventures here. The most famous hikes are Angel's Landing and The Narrows. My favorite hike is Emerald Pools. If you're making the pilgrimage to Utah to see all that you can see, visit The Mighty Five
The Mighty Five
This drive is unlike any you'll take in the world. I put it as #1 because it's rare, incredible, and less traffic that the PCH. Utah is incredible. Once home to the dinosaurs and Ancient Native American people, Utah's rich, natural monoliths touch a sacred reach in the sky. The national parks are a sight to see and worth seeing them all if you're willing to take this roap trip. Here's a scenic guide to Utah's National Parks.
Have you been to any of these destinations? Where's your favorite place to road trip? Do you have any tips?! Leave your tips and trips in the comments below & thanks for reading! If you liked this article, like and share it!
As a bonus: Here’s a free map!